quest is an important concept in Chivalry-Now. It recognizes
the life journey that each of us takes, the journey from which we
learn and grow and hopefully become a benefit to all.
The purpose of this article is to point
out the importance of making choices. We should not consider ourselves
passive recipients of whatever glimpse of Truth the quest brings
our way. We are protagonists who shape our own characters. We bear
responsibility for all our choices. And every choice we make resonates
throughout our culture like ripples in a pond.
I sometimes refer to the quest as a path
we walk on. Unfortunately, the word "path" can be misleading.
The metaphor I'm poorly describing is basically a pathless journey
through a landscape of possibilities. Every step we choose
determines our direction. It may be influenced by circumstances
or people that we meet, serendipitous guides, curiosities, or enemies
to avoid, but ultimately we decide where we are going, even when
our choices are limited.
There are people who travel paths that
are clearly defined and predictable. I say travel
instead of journey, because the herd instinct they
embrace is more in line with mass transit to a prescribed destination
than anything resembling the wonder and excitement of a quest. Their
idea of growth is "fitting in," following the rules, accepting
the conclusions of others without question. They often accept the
religion and political affiliation of their parents, choose their
careers according to market values, educate themselves only as much
as they have to, and turn away from injustice. They question nothing
except what is expected by the sanctioning of the crowd.
In contrast, the quest is a type of freedom
that willfully discovers the world every day through direct experience,
not accepting someone else's version of the world, out of social
expectations or demands. It seeks authenticity rather than following
a priority of comfort or safety. Its relationship to the world usually
leans toward appreciation and protection, rather than exploitation.
It humbly acknowledges the world is our teacher and worthy of respect.
The quest is measured by our choices: how
we respond to the challenges that confront us, and the tedium in
between. It helps to imagine not a single path, already defined,
but a projection of path-like possibilities, branching out in all
directions, depending on choice. When you think of it, every decision
we make opens a whole new world that would not be presented if that
choice had not occurred. We usually don't appreciate this because
the path we walk on often becomes familiar and predictable. When
we lose sight of our ability to change things, we shut down to the
full meaning and power of the quest.
You might ask: "Are we talking about
setting goals? If so, is that so different from those who follow
the herd in mapping out their lives?"
The difference from the herd mentality
could not be more striking.
When you place the power of choice in the
hands of a free-thinking person who cherishes authenticity, freedom
itself becomes a powerful, life-transforming dynamic that generates
One cannot live without making choices.
What makes the quest different is that it urges us to make choices
that are "admirable." Followers of the herd lean toward
prescribed choices that are "enviable" instead - choices
that produce status, wealth, comfort or security.
does all this relate to Chivalry-Now?
Knight-Errantry we hope to inspire prioritizes values that are timeless,
universal, and represent something greater than selfish concerns.
The knight-errant's responsibility is to become a conduit for that
in the title that knighthood brings misses the point entirely. Action
is required. Behavior shaped by one's ideals. And that means ethical
choices. It means placing oneself into the dynamic of change and
articulating a clear vision.
should not be looked upon as a goal or finality of achievement but
as the beginning of new life. It encourages us to make choices,
not whimsically or haphazardly, but according to an attentive conscience
that expresses who we really are.